Beyond the Shadows of Summer
Beyond the Shadows of Summer by Jonathan Zemsky
Set over 10 days at the Illinois State Fair of 1955 Beyond the Shadows of Summer is a story of a more innocent time.
James Sayer is a 14 year old still struggling to come to terms with the death of his brother. Together with his circle of friends he starts his first job at the Illinois State Fair and has to contend with friendly rivalries, bullies, a growing attraction to one of the girls running the stall near his as well as racism and a savage attack on one of his friends. Apart from all this he has to learn to let go of the guilt he feels about living as well as righting some wrongs that have been festering in his town.
Beyond the Shadows of Summer is a moving and deeply emotional book, it will grab you and demand your full attention from the first page. The descriptions of brotherhood and friendship between a group of teens is spot on, anyone who is a teen or can still remember the awkwardness and pain of adolescence will be able to relate to the characters.
It has become the front-runner for my favourite book of the year and I recommend it most highly for teens and adults of all ages.
Reviewer: Matthew Imrie